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Teen-Led Community Service Group Rewards OHSU Children's Psychiatric Day Treatment Center

06/22/04   Portland, Ore.

Oregon's only training facility for child psychiatrists earns recognition, grant

Oregon Health & Science University Children's Psychiatric Day Treatment Center has earned the recognition and support of a teen-led grant-making and community involvement education program known as Community 101. Sponsored by the PGE Foundation, Northwest Foundation and others, the program encourages youths to learn about their communities and empowers them to get involved and make a difference.

Teens involved in Community 101 classes and groups are given between $5,000 and $6,000 to distribute to nonprofit organizations of their choosing. The students then research and learn about the agencies in their communities; send out requests for grant applications; conduct site visits or talk with organizations about their programs; and then decide which programs to fund. Twenty-eight public, private and alternative schools throughout Oregon participate in the program.

This year, the Community 101 program at Open Meadow Alternative Schools in Portland chose to fund organizations that assist individuals with mental health issues, and OHSU's Children's Psychiatric Day Treatment Center was awarded a grant.

The psychiatric day treatment center, located in Beaverton, Ore., is an intensive, individualized treatment and special education program for children aged 3 to 10 with moderate to severe behavioral and social challenges, and their families. Since its inception in 1970, the program has successfully graduated more than 400 children who typically move on to special education programs in elementary schools and eventually, it is hoped, a regular classroom.

Thanks to the grant, the center will expand its play therapy room, currently too small to accommodate the number of people involved in a therapy session; install a one-way mirror and sound system, allowing parents, teachers and caseworkers to view therapy for the first time without interrupting; and construct a work room for the dozens of medical and nursing students, social workers and residents who receive training at the center -- OHSU's day treatment center is the only training facility for child psychiatrists in Oregon, graduating three a year.

"Parents have long asked for a way to see what's going on in the play therapy room without interfering in the diagnostic process or therapy. These renovations will provide them a non-intrusive view of the interaction between staff and their child and allow cross-communication that will benefit the progress of the child's therapy," said Les Busch, M.Ed., center director and assistant professor of psychiatry in the OHSU School of Medicine.

For more information about the OHSU Children's Psychiatric Day Treatment Center, visit www.ohsu.edu/childpsychiatry/cpdtc.htm

For more information about Community 101, visit www.pgefoundation.org/community101/faq.html

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